3 Reasons Why the Giants Must Get Rid of Aubrey Huff as Soon as Possible
Now, however, Huff is bringing his team down.
Huff has a knack for immensely hurting his team on offense, which he has done in 2012. Huff missed 14 games due to an anxiety disorder and is not doing well having come back from it.
Here are three reasons why San Francisco must get rid of Aubrey Huff as soon as possible.
Stranding Runners on Base
As a Giants fan, I really don't want to address this issue. However, I will.
While San Francisco's problem of stranding runners is team-wide, the largest portion of the blame goes to Aubrey Huff. In his last 28 at-bats, Huff has one RBI—on a walk.
And that walk was because of a blown call; it should've been strike three!
San Francisco knows how to get guys on base, but they don't know how to bring them in. Huff hasn't been successful at bringing guys in, as he always seems to chase a pitch and miss, hit a weak grounder or fly out.
Right now, all he can really do is hustle to first base.
A contending team simply can't have their first baseman hitting .151 and always leaving guys on base. I don't think he'll be able to pick up the slack, so the Giants must get rid of him to avoid more struggles with runners on base.
Emergence of Brett Pill and Brandon Belt
By keeping Huff, the Giants are keeping two young, talented prospects away from the diamond on game days.
The only way Brett Pill and Brandon Belt are going to get better is by playing more, and by keeping Huff, the Giants can't do that. Huff is an average defensive first baseman, and while he picks the ball off the dirt well, he can't really do anything special on D.
Belt is great on defense. He is 6'5", so he can catch high throws easily. He is more athletic than Huff, so he can stretch for longer throws. Pill isn't great on defense, but he is a good hitter.
Pill and Belt are both struggling at the plate, as Pill is hitting .208 and Belt is hitting .230. However, Pill has pop in his bat, and he is a threat to hit a homer every time he steps to the plate. Belt lacks that power, but he can drive in runs.
While Huff hasn't struck out much this year, he has a knack for striking out. Belt does as well, as he has 32 strikeouts in 100 at-bats (a 32 percent strikeout rate). Pill doesn't strike out as much, although he will need to raise his average.
Only time will help those two young first baseman improve. While I'm sure Huff is doing a great job as a mentor, his job is to play baseball, not mentor other players.
And he's not doing a very good job.
Salary and Trade Value
Aubrey Huff is making 10 million dollars this year. That sounds like a little too much to me.
While he is being overpaid, he still may have some trade value. Win-now teams may be willing to give up a second baseman or shortstop for Huff, who could give a team without an everyday first baseman a chance to win.
Shortstop is San Francisco's biggest area of need. Brandon Crawford's inconsistent hitting and countless errors have frustrated Giants fans, and he is not the long-term answer at short. Ryan Theriot isn't a great long-term second baseman, so the Giants could go for a second baseman.
Toronto is a team that could fit the trade requirements. Their second baseman, Kelly Johnson, could be swapped for Huff. He doesn't have a great batting average, but he has nine homers and 27 RBI, which could greatly benefit the Giants.
To balance out the deal, Toronto could either pay the Giants cash or trade Yunel Escobar for Ryan Theriot or Brandon Crawford. While the Blue Jays might not be willing to take the second option, a Johnson-for-Huff swap with cash to the Giants wouldn't be a bad deal.
However, if that doesn't work out, San Francisco could just release Huff and free up some cap room for free agency. Johnson will be a free agent, and he will be a guy San Francisco will want to sign. If not, they can resign Freddy Sanchez.
Either way, Huff is overpaid and isn't doing the team any good. San Francisco definitely has areas of need, and they need to fix those areas. The best way to do that is by trading or releasing Huff.
Sorry Aubrey, but your time in San Francisco is up.